29 Sep
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

Like most people, I was unaware of the many aspects related to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” For all intense purposes, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is our national anthem. Like myself, most people are unable to recite all the lyrics to the song, let alone understand the meanings associated with it. For example, according to historian Robin Blackburn, the words "the hireling and slave" allude to the fact that the British attackers had many former slaves in their ranks. These former slaves were  promised liberty by the British. In turn, they demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters.”

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics originate from "Defence of Fort M’Henry", a poem written on September 14, 1814, by Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying above the fort during the bombardment. The poem was set to the music of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London.

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03 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

On Saturday, November 21, 2015, Dr. Obiora N. Anekwe was invited to read from his new children’s book at the Barnes & Noble City Center in White Plains, New York. The event was sponsored by the Delany Center for Educational Enrichment at Pace University. Dr. Sister St. John Delany, director of the center and associate professor of education at Pace University, organized the annual book reading program and invited Dr. Anekwe to serve as the keynote author for this year’s book fair.

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19 Apr
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

Words are powerful, but they are also transformative in nature and deed. But when put to music, words can expose, educate, and even help eliminate myths and stereotypes about a people who are human, but, more often than not, subject to indispensable injustice and value-ridden hardship. Recently, I was reminded how words are literally more potent than sticks and stones. I often refer back to past injustices and their related symbols in order to address many of our current issues of injustice because, quite frankly, history just keeps repeating itself. And more troubling than before, the repetition of history’s racial injustice through language is constantly justified through laws and policies that are immersed in racial biases that permeate society.

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